Last week when Audi Sport teased six new upcoming models, the easiest one to spot was the Audi RS Q8. The upcoming high-performance version of the brand’s largest coupe-SUV is going to be one of the flagship Audi Sport models. It’s also almost here, as it’s said to debut by the end of 2019. Despite that, we know very little about it. However, we might have an indicator from a VW Group cousin– the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E Hybrid. Let’s dig in.
The upcoming Audi RS Q8 will be built on the VW Group’s latest iteration of the MLB longitudinal architecture. It’s the same architecture that underpins the Audi Q8, A8 and A6. But it also underpins the Lamborghini Urus and, you guessed it, the Porsche Cayenne. Considering that the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E is the fastest version of the Cayenne, it stands to reason that it might be similar to the fastest version of its VW Group cousin, the Audi RS Q8.
So what makes the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E special? Well, two things; it’s ability to drive entirely on electric power and power. Lot’s of power.
Under the skin of the new Cayenne Turbo S E is a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 paired with an electric motor and some batteries. When it’s all combined, it makes a monstrous 670 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough power to tug a planet out of orbit. It’s also good for 0-60 mph in the low three-second range, if not faster.
Admittedly, the aforementioned Lamborghini is also part of this MLB-based SUV family and it’s very different from the newly hybridized Cayenne. So of course it’s possible that the upcoming RS Q8 is more similar to the not-so-Rambo-Lambo than the Porsche. However, we actually think it will be more like the new hybrid Cayenne for a few reasons.
One reason is that Audi seems to really want to hop aboard the hybrid/EV train. With a new e-tron being announced seemingly every ten minutes and more plug-in hybrid cars than ever before on the horizon, Audi seems to really want to push cleaner, more efficient performance.
It makes sense that Audi wants to push greener performance, considering the brand’s nasty diesel scandal. Making a massive fuel-sucking performance SUV after the brand got busted for cheating emissions doesn’t exactly look great. So making the Audi RS Q8 a plug-in hybrid might actually be the smartest idea.
There’s also the fact that we’ve heard quite a few rumors about hybridized RS cars, starting with the upcoming Audi RS7, which is said to offer a plug-in powertrain in addition to its standard one. So it’s possible that Audi Sport is looking to make its bigger, heavier cars performance hybrids.
We’re not saying that the Audi RS Q8 is certianly going to be a hybrid or that it’s definitely going to make that much power. All we’re saying is that it’s not outside the realm of possibility for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E to be foreshadowing the imminent RS Q8.